Wellington Hurricanes in Super 14 rugby final
Friday, May 19, 2006
The Hurricanes came through to the 2006 Super 14 Final after a 16-14 win over the New South Wales Waratahs in Wellington on Friday night, NZST. The Hurricanes took an early lead in the opening moments of the game with a Piri Weepu penalty and a couple of minutes later this was followed up with another penalty this time from David Holwell.
The Waratahs fought back, however, with Peter Hewat scoring a try in the 14th minute, which he then failed to convert. He made amends seven minutes though when he converted a Waratahs penalty. Lome Fa'atau went over the line for the Hurricanes on the half-hour mark to put them up 13-8 and this is what the scoreline looked like going into half-time.
The second half began with the Hurricanes failing to take the lead they deserved and it was the Waratahs who started off the second half scoring when, in the 64th minute, the Hurricanes conceded a penalty that was converted by Hewat. This was followed by another penalty five minutes later that Hewat again dealt to putting the Waratah's up 14-13.
After the Waratahs were penalised from their scrum in the 72nd minute, Jimmy Gopperth scored a 50-metre penalty kick to put the Hurricanes back in front, 16-14. Try as they may, the Waratahs were unable to score in the final eight minutes.
The final is the first final the Hurricanes have ever qualified for, having been previously been defeated in three other semi-finals. The Hurricanes also earned the right to host the semi-final, which was the first ever played in Hurricanes territory, by beating the Waratahs a week earlier in Sydney, 19-14, in the final round.
The Hurricanes will now meet the winners of the Crusaders vs Bulls clash that will take place tomorrow night at Jade Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Crusaders have been backed as "unbeatable" against the Bulls. The game was Chris Whittaker's last for the Waratahs in Super 14 rugby, after he announced his retirement earlier this year. The match was officiated by Jonathan Kaplan. It was the Waratahs 14th loss in the 15 Waratahs matches that Kaplan has been the referee.
- Tvnz. "TVNZ Live Scoring" — , May 18, 2006
- Duncan Johnstone. "Tahs: Kaplan Jinx Strikes Again" — , May 20, 2006
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